O'Reilly ASCoT Closes In On 500th Feature Event TULSA, Okla. (June 28, 2007) -- With what could perhaps be the 500th feature event in O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series history just over a week away, it's only...
O'Reilly ASCoT Closes In On 500th Feature Event
TULSA, Okla. (June 28, 2007) -- With what could perhaps be the 500th feature event in O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour National series history just over a week away, it's only fitting that what may turn out to be the tightest points race in series history is quickly developing.
With the inaugural ASCS Northern Plains Speedweek in the books for the National Tour, the top four drivers are separated by just 105 points. Only 31 points separate the top three, and a mere six points separate the top two.
And that's 20 events into the 2007 campaign, on the cusp of the midway point.
As the series kicks off the "Show-Me Showdown" this Saturday night at Lucas Oil Speedway in Wheatland, MO, a total of 496 feature events have been completed since the inception of the American Sprint Car Series in 1992.
Thus, if all four scheduled "Show-Me Showdown" events can successfully navigate around Mother Nature, the series 500th feature event will take place on Saturday night, July 7, at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, KS.
The first step is to get feature number 497 in the books on Saturday night when the series visits the "Diamond of Dirt Tracks", Lucas Oil Speedway for the second time in as many years.
Then it's on to Sedalia's Missouri State Fair Speedway, a track that has produced eleven different winners in 13 previous ASCS National Tour events, on Tuesday night, July 3.
One night later, on Wednesday, July 4, the series makes its first appearance at Double X Speedway in California, MO, for the First Annual Daniel McMillin Memorial.
The fourth and final round of the O'Reilly ASCoT "Show-Me Showdown", which will also be the 500th feature event in series history provided that all four events are successfully completed, will then take place just across the Missouri state line at Lakeside Speedway in Kansas City, KS.
Gary Wright of Hooks, TX, held a lead as large as 101 points following the opening night of the Bully Hill Nationals at Dundee, New York's Black Rock Speedway on May 18. But in the seven events since that night, Wright's point lead has all but disappeared, as he holds just a six-point lead over Oklahoma City native Wayne Johnson.
"That wreck at Susquehanna just killed us in the points," Wright explained of a heat race crash on May 24 that forced him to utilize a provisional just to start the main. "The worst part was that there was people there that wanted to see me race that hadn't ever watched me before. But with no extra points for the provisional, I just took the green and pulled off."
Currently riding the series longest active streak of top-five feature finishes, Wayne Johnson shoots for more than a ninth consecutive top-five run on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Speedway. And while a change in points leadership is possible at any time, Wayne Johnson isn't worried about that quite yet.
"It's too early to worry about points, right now we're just trying to get some more 'W's," Johnson commented.
And after stumbling out of the gates, Louisiana's Jason Johnson has climbed right back into the $50,000 championship points battle with twelve top-five feature finishes in the last 13 events, including six wins. His only time outside the top-five in recent memory was a crash while racing for second at Virginia Motor Speedway on May 25, an incident that cost him at least 22 points. Johnson enters Saturday's opening round of the "Show-Me Showdown" 31 points off the lead pace.
And keeping the leaders within sight is 2003 series champion Travis Rilat. The Forney, TX, racer has finished among the top-five in eight of the last ten feature events, including East Coast wins in Black Rock Speedway's Bull Hill Nationals on May 19 and at Virginia Motor Speedway on May 25.
More information on the upcoming "Show-Me Showdown" events...
The Series:O'Reilly American Sprint Cars on Tour (ASCoT)
When & Where:O'Reilly ASCoT Show-Me Showdown:
Round 1 - Saturday night, June 30 at 7:30 p.m. -- Lucas Oil Speedway (Wheatland, MO)
Round 2 - Tuesday night, July 3 at 7:00 p.m. -- Missouri State Fair Speedway (Sedalia, MO)
Round 3 - Wednesday night, July 4 at 7:00 p.m. -- Double X Speedway (California, MO)
Round 4 - Saturday night, July 7 at 7:30 p.m. -- Lakeside Speedway (Kansas City, KS)